Why doesnt my hair hold a curl?

By Stevee Danielle Hair and makeup


Have you ever looked at your hair stylist and said “my hair doesn’t hold curl”, “my hair is already curly and is too frizzy to curl” or “I always straighten my naturally curly hair before I curl it”? Let me put your mind at ease and tell you that celebrities are not the only ones with perfectly curlable hair! Everyone can have their hair texture completely changed for and look amazing and different than your everyday look for your wedding day. AND, its easy!

Science behind heating your hair:

First, lets get to understanding the science behind any methods of styling with heat. Hair is made up of a protein known as keratin. Keratin is made up of sulfur-containing amino acids. sulfur atoms, from chains of keratin, bond together to form what are called disulphide bonds or S-S bonds. These disulphide bonds are what keeps the keratin molecules in a fixed position creating the shape of the hair fiber.

What we do when we want to change the shape of the hair fiber? The easiest most common methods are straightening, curling, or wanding our hair using heated irons. 300 to 500 degrees fahrenheit will break down these disulphide bonds. Whatever shape you use to break down these disulphide bonds is the shape they will start to form. When an heated iron is removed from the hair, the hair will cool. Once the hair is fully cooled down, that is the shape the disulphide bonds will stay. Only moisture or water will return the disulphide bond to its original state.

Common mistakes made that make it seem like your hair is just impossible!

  1. Curling your hair from the ends to the base:

It just seems natural that the way to use a curling iron is to catch as much of the ends as possible without them slipping and roll the iron up all the way to the scalp.

Problem with this method:

unless you have very short hair, this method will give you lifeless frizzy hair at the base and midshaft of the hair and a very tight curl on the ends of the hair. Why? Well now that we understand why the heat is the key to smooth shiny hair no matter what shape we want, it is easy to understand that there is not enough heat getting to the midshaft and base of the hair. When you wrap hair around the iron and roll up to the scalp, you are essentially wrapping hair around hair, not heat. The hair at the midshaft and base will not get hot enough if it is touching hair from the ends and not touching the curved plates of the iron. Holding the iron in your hair longer hoping that the midshaft and ends will eventually get hot enough may work better, but will damage your ends and still wont create the desired look. Your wedding hairstyle will end up falling down within the hour.

  1. Straightening your naturally curly hair before curling it.

This seems like the obvious thing to do when you have tried to create a smoother larger curl in your hair like the method above, and all you ever get is still a frizzy mess.

Problem with this method:

Once the disulphide bonds have been heated (broken) and cooled (only returnable by moisture) into a straight shape, it will be very difficult, not to mention damaging, to get the disulphide bonds to break and reshape again. Yes, it is possible and people do it all the time, but the curl shape desired after straightening will never stay as long as it not being straightened first and it is a waste of time. Again, once the disulphide bond has cooled, it will want to return to the original shape it cooled in until it has been returned to its natural state by the application of water.

So how do we do it right?

Think about when you have used a flat iron. You squeeze hair at the base (next to the scalp) in between 2 plates and slide down the hair. This works because you are applying heat evenly throughout the entire section of hair as you slide the iron down to the ends. This is called a base to ends method of heat styling. You hair looks smooth and straight, yay! Sooooooo, how do we get our brides hair to be smooth and curled instead? Using the same base to ends method. Put your hair into the curling iron just below the base of your hair and roll up to where you are almost at the scalp, press the thumb release just gently enough to be able to slide the iron down the hair enough to roll it one or two more times to get it back up to the scalp. This will keep the hair sliding on the curved plates. Continue sliding the hair through and rolling back up to the scalp until you have slid the ends into the iron and almost immediately release. This method with enable you to smooth and curl your hair at the same time without causing extreme damage to your hair, wasting your time or leaving you with frizz.

Do you have stubbornly straight or very thin hair?

Remember what we said about how the shape the disulphide bond cools in is what it will stay in? Use little clips to clip your curl up directly after your iron leaves the hair and while it cools down. Cooling in the curled shape instead of a long heavy spiral will make your curls last longer. Use a weightless hairspray sparingly before you take down your clips.

Follow these tips and you can feel safe that your wedding hairstyle will last all evening. If you have any questions on this technique feel free to email us and we will be happy to help.